Robaina's plantation

Tuesday 30 June 2015

Signs (Billboards) of Cuba....A Pictorial

                   This Blog is not political but most of Cuba's Billboards are. They are some kind of propaganda but I don't personally have any issue with them and I'm not going to talk about them or what they mean, it's self evident. The issue I have with them is not that they're everywhere, nor what they signify, it doesn't really matter to me and I pretty sure it doesn't matter to most Cubans. My issue is with the fact that I can't find a sign for most places I'm going to in Cuba, outside of Havana. I don't want them to get rid of the their slogans or messages, just connect a little sign below the odd one giving me directions to where I'm going. Is that too much to ask for. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Friday 26 June 2015

Punch Double Corona (Cigar Review) Box Date 2002-03

                 You will notice I marked 2002-03 for a box date, reason being the date was a little unclear. The cigar came from a 50 cabinet box and like every Cuban Double Corona it weighs in at 49 x 194 (7.6") and it was a beautiful specimen. A friend shared his stash with me.
                  This DC with it's dark caffè latte coloured wrapper was as hard as a rock and on the pre-light draw it was all wood. It was slightly oily and a little bumpy but had no visible veins. Once lit I tasted earth and wood, not complicated at all. The burn started a bit off but upon nearing the first inch it straightened itself out. Passing the first inch the wood was replaced by grass and it was either my taste buds but it seemed a little dry. This was a medium to strong bodied cigar at this point. Past around the 2" mark and the ash fell on it's own leaving a nice little cone, the sign of a well rolled cigar. The edge was coming off this cigar and was closer to a medium body and all earthiness.
                   At around the halfway mark the ash fell on it's own again, this time it was burning a little hotter through the middle...nothing terribly serious but I touched it up just the same. I was enjoying this cigar so much I didn't want anything to disrupt that pleasure. Went out nearing the last third but that may have been due more to my talking too much and the picture taking rather than a poorly rolled cigar. Night was almost upon us and pictures were becoming that more difficult. The strength picked up again at this point becoming medium to strong again with a rally towards the strong side at the last quarter. Although I couldn't take anymore pictures, I can assure you that I smoked this sucker right down to the end with no problem, it didn't turn on me.
                   In conclusion, wow, just wow. This is what a Punch DC should taste like. I've had a few boxes in my time but nothing older than a 2009 and what I smoked, even though they were nice cigars, were quite mild. I thank my friend for having me over and sharing this wonderful cigar with me.

Thursday 25 June 2015

Hotel Comodoro Cigar Shop (Havana) A Visit June 2015

                 My readers know me to be a frequent traveler to Cuba and when I'm there I stay in the Playa area of the city...that's in Miramar. It's within walking distance of the Hotel Comodoro, maybe 300 meters from the Casa I stay in. To me, this cigar shop is more than a place where I can buy or smoke a cigar. I've been coming here for years, long before I stayed in the area. Crisantos was rolling here at that time and the shop was where all the clothing stores are, to the side of the main building. It's been in the hotel lobby for several years now and Crisantos no longer rolls there, he's retired. However, he's been replaced by a fine young man, Alex, who produces some wonderful cigars and who I can call a friend along with the rest of the staff who have been here for years. This is where I come to relax and spend some time with friends catching up on all the happenings while I've been away. It's not busy at all but there is a steady stream of customers coming in to buy something or another. I've hardly ever found a customer sitting in one of the chairs smoking a cigar. To be honest, there are many more popular shops in the city, one of them is right next door in the Hotel Melia Habana. However, they can't replace the feeling I get when I enter this shop. I'm not a customer entering a store, I'm a friend entering someone's house.
                I'm going to repeat myself once again by saying, give this place a shot. If you haven't already visited this Cigar Shop, you should. The selection of boxed cigars isn't anything extraordinary but they do have a decent cross section. What you need to try are the custom rolls that Alex makes. If you have time and give him some notice, he can even roll you something special that he doesn't have in his humidor. One of my favourites that he rolls are the Behike 52 (in shape not flavour) but I had a robusto last weekend that's going to make me rethink my next purchase.

Calle 3ra y 84
Miramar, Playa